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EU Funding Programme: Erasmus+ KA201.
Project coördinator: Royal Dutch Visio.
Partners: Carl-Streh Schule (DE), Sight Scotland (UK), ASPAYM foundation (ES), Schloss-Schule Ilvesheim (DE).
Total budget: €239.949.
Duration: 1 September 2020 – 31 August 2023.
Website: Under construction.

3D4VIP is a logical follow up on an earlier collaborative KA219 project called UBIS (01-10-2017 and 30-09-2019). Within this project an accessible online database was created which offers models for education for low vision and blind students (short VI Students) free to download. With each model, didactic information is provided, regarding the use of the teaching material. In UBIS a document was created with a decision tree on when to use which type of teaching material (text, model, actual product), explanation of what is 3D printing (incl. FAQ), including video and guidelines concerning the creation of models for VI students, with specific conditions, such as texture, dimensions and scale, contrast and text and braille.

3D4VIP wants to take UBIS and the impact of the database and the guidelines that were developed to a next level. It will consist of several phases to achieve an even higher level of the use of 3D printing and the production of models for the purpose of improving the education for VI students.

  • We will test and evaluate current existing databases. There are two types of users of the database; 1) teachers who need a model can download it and 2) experts who can make models can upload them and share them with the teachers. The result will be a universal, intuitive tool and online database, where teachers and experts can find models and all the information concerning 3D printing for VI education i.e., the guidelines and a platform where experts can share formative contents.
  • We will develop guidelines for 3D models. How do you print Braille or arrows? What do you have to think about when making a model for visually impaired students?
  • All through the project we focus on the familiarity and deployment of 3D printing amongst the educators and experts. We will develop information videos for schools to use 3D printing. Experts can use the database to find each other and consult the guidelines. Teachers will be informed on how to easily produce tangible materials to be used in class.
  • We will develop models to be used in curricula for VI students. E.g. in STEM (science, technology, engineering mathematics) courses or new subjects, such as computational thinking or referrers (objects of reference; tangible communication materials) for students with Multiple Disabilities and Visual Impairment (MDVI). Also the art and languages subjects can benefit. In addition we will look for a combination of techniques in the models. Is it possible to add audio, or moving elements? Some products will be further elaborated to analyse all possibilities.
  • Recommendations on using 3D printing with VI students. Intuitively, human sight is essential for computer graphics and modelling. Thus, at first glance, it might seem logical that there are few applications for blind 3D modellers. However, there are many use cases and reasons for enabling blind people to perform 3D modelling. Conventional 3D modelling applications are typically not easily accessible for blind users. We will assess the software and create hardware optimisations where possible, providing recommendations and an offline package with good practices.